Barry Reaves, serving as the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice (DEI/J), and Workforce Development at the North East Clean Energy Council (NECEC), is tackling head-on the clean energy sector’s need for a more diverse workforce. This challenge expands beyond ethnic boundaries, touching on gender, sexuality, and income status, highlighting the pressing need for a more inclusive approach in the industry’s workforce development.

The North East Clean Energy Council (NECEC) works tirelessly with a variety of partners across the Northeast, from Maine to New York, to encourage clean energy organizations to think comprehensively about workforce solutions that embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Reaves’ role involves not just strategizing but shepherding projects with and for member companies that create equitable pathways in clean energy.

This conversation contains enlightening lessons on the importance of workforce diversity from a practitioner on the front lines. It underscores the critical role that organizational leaders play as catalysts for change, advocating for diversity and inclusion right from the top. It also delves into the challenges policies can pose to such initiatives, emphasizing the need for holistic thinking in developing programs that attract diverse talent. Reaves’ work calls for inclusion beyond ethnicity, recognizing the need to encompass individuals from rural communities, the military, and various gender and sexual orientations, among others. 

Listeners will learn about the tangible benefits of diversity for companies, the significance of establishing connections with often overlooked communities, and the strategies the NECEC employs to foster a more inclusive clean energy sector. This dialogue sheds light on the imperative for equitable workforce development, but also illustrates how inclusivity can drive innovation and progress in clean energy and beyond.